Meet Lindsay duPont, Artist and Illustrator
Interviewed by Eleanor Duke
"Art has been a thread throughout my life. I feel like it gets better and better, in kind of a mysterious way. I love having something that I am really involved in — I just feel like it’s a huge gift to have this thing that I love to do, and to be engaged in. It opens up worlds."
Lindsay duPont is an artist and illustrator whose work is undeniably funny and joyful, which she says helps her achieve her own “happiness quotient.” She has illustrated six children’s books and self-published two more books, which are available from her Etsy shop. Her drawings are expressive and bold, often colorful and witty, and imbued with the unmistakable texture of Lindsay’s personality. Lindsay is also the artist of the many wonderful little illustrations in Mindful Games and across this website.
Raised outside of Chicago in a big family, Lindsay is now a mother of three and lives about 30 minutes outside of New York City, where her studio overlooks the Hudson River. You can see more of her work on her website here.
How did you and Susan find each other?
We’ve been working together for six years. She is a good friend of my brother and his wife. She’s in LA and I’m in New York, so we’ve actually only met face-to-face once!
You’ve also worked with the American Booksellers Association and Applegate Farms. How do you choose the companies you work with? Do you intentionally choose organizations with good causes?
They actually choose me! A friend of mine is the lawyer for ABA, and she knew my work and hired me. Applegate, too, was an introduction through my brother’s wife. It’s just sort of what’s happened, so I guess I know good people! You know, I’m a one-person show, so it’s been very intimate with the clients I’ve had.
You studied painting at RISD. Do you still paint?
I do, but it’s getting to be more and more about illustration. I love painting, and I totally respect it — it’s really hard. But my work seems to be more illustration, actually.
Do you have a daily practice?
I have a studio in the town up from my house. I go there every day to work.
How do you start a new project? Where do you find inspiration?
If I’m working for someone, it’s always a lot of fun talking to them, especially when they’re excited and they want to make something fun. When there’s energy there, it just feeds itself. The other stuff I do really comes from an unknown place. I know this sounds…well, maybe it sounds sort of mindful, actually. It comes from a mysterious place. Like, for example, I’ll be doodling when I’m on the telephone, and I’ll see the doodle three weeks later and I’ll take it and scan it and reprint it and work on it and paint it in. That’s the way a lot of my work has happened.
Women figure prominently in your work. Is there a reason for that?
You know, I think they’re probably all self-portraits, on some level. I’m presenting a new book soon, which is called A Ladies Guide to Better Living. I hope a publisher snaps it up. It’s all women — it’s sort of witty, each one has a caption.
Your work is quite comedic and expressive.
You know, I think I inherited it. I have a brother who’s very funny and a sister who’s very funny, and my parents are very funny. Much funnier than me, of course. So it’s just sort of part of the thing. My father always encouraged me to do the funny stuff, because there is a lot less funny art in the world than there is regular art.
How has your work changed you?
It’s been a thread throughout my life. I feel like it gets better and better, in kind of a mysterious way. I love having it in my life. I love having something that I am really involved in — I just feel like it’s a huge gift to have this thing that I love to do, and to be engaged in. It opens up worlds. I love going to museums, I love children’s books, the whole visual thing.
Do you ever get stuck on creative blocks? What do you do?
Yes! I cut myself a lot of slack, but I just don’t leave my studio. I’ll just sit there, and I say: “it’s fine if you sit here and don’t do a thing, but you have to stay.” That’s part of my job, too. You have to spend hours doing it. Also, I’ll do something physical, because that’s always positive. You know, go for a walk or a run or that kind of thing. Just keep it positive.
What is your workspace like?
I have a square space, not that big, but with wonderful windows like they have at a lot of those factory buildings — big metal windows. They look out onto the Hudson River, which is fantastic. The train to Grand Central goes by right below, constantly crashing by. It’s incredibly bright in the afternoon, it’s like being in a light box. It’s wonderful.
If you could go back in time, what is the one thing you’d most like to tell yourself as a child?
Don’t be scared to be yourself. Don’t be worried to not be yourself. It’s fine to be who you are.
How do you take care of yourself?
I love doing yoga — there’s a wonderful place where woman teaches a small yoga class that I go to periodically. I’m not a complete devotee — she has several of those. The class is very small and intimate, there are some people my age so it’s not intimidating. And I go on lots of long walks with friends, and I go on bike rides with my husband, swim in the summer, play tennis.